November’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Abdulnour Sakhniya, a Syrian newcomer to Canada, to put on a reading competition for youth from the newcomer community.
“Coming from a newcomer and refugee background,” explains Abdulnour, “I have found that many in my community are lacking in literacy. With many of our parents illiterate,” he continues, “there is a huge need for a literacy project. I feel if I start with kids I can slowly build my dream of illiteracy-free within all demographics of the newcomer community.”
With the collaboration of the Ottawa Public Library and Capital Welcomes, a list of books will be drawn up that are easy for newcomers to read. Youth who read a certain number of books over the summer will receive prizes, and whoever reads the most books will get a grand prize. Support will also be offered to help with reading and for youth to share their experiences.
Abdulnour, who is 19, is going to school to pursue his dream of being a commercial airline pilot. He also works with the Catholic Centre for Immigrants as a youth social worker and sits on the board of Capital Welcomes.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (November 2017)